The last several months for The Movement was dedicated to working on their self-titled six song EP The Movement. After taking a listen I have to say the band pulled off a solid debut. The band comprised of Chris Bayliss, Dean Malakiy, Gavin Crotty, and Steven Blackmore float somewhere between hardcore and pop punk. Every time I was reminded of bands like New Found Glory or Thirty Seconds From Mars they switched it up on me and I thought they sounded like the Blood Brothers. I preferred the latter.
Regardless of my ambivalent feelings towards their style the band has skills in the talent department. Their songs are well structured and the music is full of changes. On top of that their technical skills are apparent throughout the EP (the drummer is like a human metronome at times).
The theme behind the music is about anxiety and depression. They did a good job of being consistent and playing into it by way of their lyrics and music. For every cathartic purge they pull off they back it up with theme appropriate lyrics.
First up is “Are You Even Listening.” They start with a barrage of sounds that is layered with the typical nasally pop punk style vocals. The song hits hard and it’s soon obvious that the band did their homework when it comes to doing vocal harmonies. The second track “Hospital Halls” is one of the harder songs on the album. It was on this track that my ears were fixed on the drumming. Hope they have a written contract with the drummer because they will have a hard time finding a replacement.
As the EP progressed some of the music reminded me of Pretty Girls Make Graves and other times I felt like they sounded like every other pop punk song. Take for example “Hopelessly Hopeless,” which pulls off an inventive breakdown around two-and-a-half minutes but then transitions into the more predictable chorus.
I have mixed feelings about their debut but still think it’s better than 90% of the mainstream type punk we hear today. That being said, I hope to hear them veer toward their experimental, hardcore side with future releases.
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